Everyone has a “thing”. Right?
Gary & my “thing” is pizza and red wine. It all started 15 years ago, this Valentines Day. I was still living in Chicago, but I was already planning on moving to Austin, and we were house hunting. His mom had given him a bread maker for Christmas, I think we had attempted making pizza on a sheet pan, but I recall, it was that Valentines Day that I bought him the pizza stone set.
At the time, I was still working in high tech. I was about three years into my own fitness journey, but no where near thinking that it might become part of my future. I think it was at that time that we started having pizza on Saturday nights – or at least, it became a tradition to have pizza on Valentines Day, for sure.
Our pizza making journey is almost as winding and turning as my health and fitness journey. We used to use the bread maker to make pizza dough, and you know, I think we would eat the entire batch of pizza. Oy! I know! Just thinking about it. So. Much. FOOD!
Within a few years, we started making the pizza dough with whole wheat flour, because, you know, it’s “healthier”. Ha! We still ate waaaaay too much! But it was our thing.
Eventually, Gary started reading up on pizza dough, ordering flour off the internet, and we ditched the bread maker all together. On the rare occasion that we’d go out for pizza, it was SO MUCH better! Why couldn’t we make it that way at home?
We took it up a notch. We toyed with different pizza stones, metal versus natural stone. We abandoned our oven because the temperature doesn’t get high enough, and modified our grill so that it runs on natural gas instead of propane tanks.
Now, its all about refinement. What are the best flavor combinations? Truffle oil or Honey with Chilis? Pepperoni or Hot Sopressata? Buffalo Mozzarella or Fontina or Low-Moisture Mozzarella? SanMartzano Tomatos or Tomato Sauce from a can? How do we get that perfect char on the bottom of the crust?
We LOVE going to the newest, hippest, pizza restaurants, not only to get new ideas on how to make our pizza better, but to secretly compare: IS it better than ours? (hint: not always 😉
A few months ago, we went to visit a friend of ours in New York. She asked us what we wanted to do.
No question. We want to eat pizza!
In three days, we had four meals of pizza. We ate a four of the top pizza restaurants in New York! And it was glorious! We’ve never done that before, and probably never will again.
Our last night there, we met up with a friend of my friend. After we had talked about how we had spent our time in New York, he asked us what we do (professionally). When I said that I was a Health Coach, his reply was, “You’re not setting a very good example.”
Really? Am I not?
And who is to say that?
Does being healthy mean that we need to be on plan all of the time? No.
So, in my head, I was going through all of the justifications that I had of why maybe he was right:
- I don’t do this all the time…
- Does he think I’m fat?
- This is a special circumstance!
- I’ll be back on plan when we get home.
But then I just had to laugh. LOL!
Because isn’t this what we get all the time from others?
- I thought you were on a diet.
- Are you sure that you can eat that?
- I heard that the healthiest diet only contains special berries from an island off the coast of Madagascar.
- I heard those Madagascar berries will cause cancer.
- And on it goes
Friends, family, co-workers are always going to have an outside agenda, and feel the need to express an opinion about our diet, the way we live our lives, or even the way eat when we’re on vacation. But you know what? Their judgements don’t matter. We are the only ones that have to live with the long term consequences of our actions. We are the only ones who know when it’s a good time to splurge, and when it’s a good time to dial it back.
It’s called moderation.
Only we know what is moderate for us.
Yes, I could probably have less body fat, but I wouldn’t be a lot of fun to live with. Likewise, I could eat whatever I wanted, but I probably wouldn’t feel well, and that would be reflected in my sleep patterns and stress management. Moderation is the cross-section between how we choose to look, how we feel, and the diet that we can live with that supports both of those goals.